If there’s one thing that turns our whole world upside down, it’s moving.
We’re used to our friends, our school, our local hangouts, and, of course, our home.
Even though you may feel like this change is totally unfair, it happens to a lot of people—and everyone gets through it. If you’re struggling with the news that you need to pack your bags and leave your life behind, here’s how to deal.
1. Take Some Time to Process Your Feelings and Write Down Your Thoughts
Finding out you’re moving is, obviously, not small news. You probably have a million thoughts and feelings running through your body and don’t even know how to react. Like with any big news, take some solo time to process your new reality and prepare for what’s to come. Being alone with your thoughts will help you accept your situation and confront your feelings, instead of pushing them to the side or being in denial. This is a good time to journal and let out every bit of emotion overtaking you. It can be a place to vent or a place to reflect on how you feel now versus how you feel as the move takes place versus how you feel when you eventually settle into your new situation.
Whatever you do, address the situation sooner rather than later. You want to give yourself ample time for everything to sink in. Consider the things you need to prioritize before you leave town and make sure everything is in order so you tie up all your loose ends.
2. Have a Serious Talk With Your Parent(s) to Better Understand and Respect Their Decision to Move
When you initially hear the news of your move, it’s easy to react out of anger and shock. And while there’s no softening the blow of having to pack up your entire life and start from scratch, you may empathize with, or even get excited by, your parents’ decision.
Give your parents a chance to explain the drastic change. Maybe they got a huge job promotion, which, in the long-run, will benefit the whole family. Maybe they just want to move somewhere nicer, either with better weather, better schools, a safer environment or better property values (aka a bigger living space). Maybe they want to move closer to family, which will give you a bigger support system.
At the end of the day, there’s likely a chance that their decision to pack up and leave comes from a good place. Give them a moment to say their piece and try to connect with their decision.
3. Realize That, at Some Point, Everyone Moves Away
Whether it be now or a few years from now, the reality of life is almost every single person you know will move at some point. Whether it’s to go off to college, or, down the line, when they get married or want to get away from their parents, the vast majority of the people you’re friends with will not stay put forever. While it sucks to say your farewells now, it’s going to happen sooner or later—at least you’re getting it over with early on, putting you ahead of your peers when it comes to handling this hardship.
4. Make a Pact to Stay in Touch With Your Close Friends
While your current relationships will change once you move away, that doesn’t mean all is lost. Just make a promise to stay in touch and actually put in the effort. The reality is that, over time, you and your current friends will settle into your new lives without each other, and it’s completely normal not to talk or text every single day (or even week), but if both sides really care about staying in touch, you absolutely will to some extent.
Remind your friends how much they mean to you, make phone dates and even make tentative plans to visit each other on a holiday, birthday or some occasion that gives you an excuse to see one another. Even as you all move on, nothing will take the place of your relationship, so don’t think you’re just out of sight, out of mind.
5. Consider the Positives
With every door that closes, another one opens. Sure, you’ll miss your regular routine and longtime friendships, but a new location means a fresh start. You have a chance to let go of the past and dive into your new experience with zero reputation. It’s exciting to meet new people, take new chances and see where this new life takes you. Maybe it’ll be a new job, a new romance, or a new meaning of life!
The added bonus is now you’ll have two places you can call home. While this new place is a fresh home base, you’ll always have somewhere you can go back and visit, and people you can go back and see. Not to mention, living somewhere new makes it fun for your old friends to come and explore.
6. Use This as an Excuse to Get Rid of Junk—and Maybe Even Make Some Money!
We can’t even begin to describe how good it feels to get rid of junk. If you’ve been too scared to part with all those old notepads and math papers, expired makeup or clothes that haven’t fit you in years, now is the time to toss it all. The absolute last thing you need in your new environment is every last lingering bit of your past. Don’t get us wrong—meaningful cards and letters, special mementos and anything you deem necessary should stay, but don’t hold on to belongings you know you absolutely don’t need.
When it comes to clothes, books, stuffed animals and other things you may have physically or emotionally outgrown, you can try selling some of those things at a secondhand store, or even grab some pals (or your parents) and host a garage sale. At the very least, you can give your unwanted items to friends, or donate them to a charity like Goodwill. Bottom line: Use your move as an opportunity to declutter your life!
7. Research Your New Home
Once you have everything else out of the way, it’s on to the fun part! No matter where you go (big or small), there will be hidden (and not so hidden) gems to uncover. Do your research before you move to your new town or neighborhood so you have spots to anticipate. Look for the cool local coffee shop, or the common market where you’ll likely spend a big chunk of time with your mom. Research your new school to get a sense of the vibe and what it specializes in. Find out what the nature situation is like. Are there local hikes? Mountains for snow activities? Look up your new town’s hashtag to see what your soon-to-be peers are up to.
Discovering new places is fun regardless, and now that it’s where you’re going to live, it makes it all the more exciting.
It’s a given that your friend dynamics will change once you relocate. HERE’s what your pals can expect once a close friend (you) moves away.